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Phantom 4 Incorrect RTH after Firmware Update
2192 31 2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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So... I had my P4 for about 3 weeks, until I had a fly away flight last week. I ran through my checklist preflight, kept the drone in line of sight and used tap fly to test it out. Around 700 feet (on the app) the RC started going in and out of range. I stopped flying further and the DJI GO app starts the return to home process. I see through the app screen that it is heading back, I notice a building is close (about 100m away) and I stop the drone to allow it to hover where it is... Then it happens... "Aircraft Disconnected" and I cannot spot the drone in the sky, the return to home icon is still up, and I have lost the drone. A few days later (because it was on a weekend) I call DJI, fill out the necessary form, include flight log, picture of app that day, GPS coordinates and a picture of where the GPS says the drone is (in a lagoon). They tell me they will contact me as soon as they get the necessary information. I waited a week, no email, no call, nothing. I call in to customer service today and they tell me that my drone supposedly crashed into a building. I explained to them that I saw the building and disabled the return home feature. He fed me some lines about the drone going around the building to stay clear of it, but that flight pattern was not on my flight path. He honestly said "I don't know what to tell you" but we won't honor helping you with a new one. I am not new to having a drone, I have flown enough flights to operate the P4. I'm not sure what other action I can take. The drone basically was disconnected only 1500 feet away, I even tested my Inspire 1 from the same location, with the same settings and it went to 1500 feet away with no problem. The P4 was my 3rd drone, and I feel DJI's customer service is subpar for this. I was honest in my assessment, and then I was passed off by the rep on the phone and told to email the person who had not emailed me back. I spent hard earned money not only to have a drone that I cannot find, but DJI have no proper customer service! And yes... This happened on the first flight after the "new" update.
2016-4-20
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DJI-Paladin
DJI team
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Sorry for your issue. Could you provide me your tracking number here? Thanks.
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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There is no tracking number for this issue. I was sent a customer usage form and a form on how to get your flight log.
2016-4-20
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DJI-Paladin
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todd_covington Posted at 2016-4-20 18:27
There is no tracking number for this issue. I was sent a customer usage form and a form on how to ge ...

Did you send the forms via Email?
2016-4-20
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Jkeller84
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Post your logs here so we can see them. If you got a message that "aircraft disconnected", the. It doesn't matter what button you pushed, it's coming home via RTH and could have hit the mentioned building. I'd like to see the logs tho, if you care to share.
2016-4-20
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labroides
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Go to http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Follow the instructions to upload your flight record.

Come back and post a link to the report it provides
2016-4-20
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Cessna172
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Jkeller84 Posted at 2016-4-20 18:46
It doesn't matter what button you pushed, it's coming home via RTH and could have hit the mentioned building.

Oh well, so much for obstacle avoidance
2016-4-20
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parkgt
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-4-20 06:51
Oh well, so much for obstacle avoidance

Depends on the mode, could have been turned off.

Why wasn't the return to home height set higher than any obstacle in it's path home.?
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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DJI-Paladin Posted at 2016-4-20 18:34
Did you send the forms via Email?

Yes I sent the forms in with the email they provided and the forms that they asked for (i.e. Customer form and flight logs)
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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Jkeller84 Posted at 2016-4-20 18:46
Post your logs here so we can see them. If you got a message that "aircraft disconnected", the. It d ...

I don't mind posting at all. I can post them later today.
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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parkgt Posted at 2016-4-20 20:01
Depends on the mode, could have been turned off.

Why wasn't the return to home height set higher  ...

Obstacle avoidance was in fact on, yet I forgot that I had updated the firmware and that led to the default 30m for return.
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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Just got the e-mail from DJI...

Dear Todd Covington

Thank you for your patience.
We have reviewed your survey, and the flight logs, and based on the incident you experienced, we want to provide further assistance.
First, we want to remind you that the remote connection our Phantoms use can be interfered with by outside sources as per FCC law. Flying near any large amounts of concrete, steel, powerlines, wifi technology, and other man-made sources can affect the behavior of the aircraft. Also, calibrating the compass over or near any of these objects or material can cause issues in flight. This is a general reminder and may not necessarily apply to your situation.

After having our data analysis team review your flight logs, your case was determined to be user error.

There is a tall building, blocking both the remote signal, and also the craft's path to its home point, once the signal was lost. Additionally, with the RTH altitude set to 30m, it is likely this height is not high enough to go over the building
We would like to offer you 15% off a new purchase of a Phantom 4 for $1189.15
To accept this offer, please reply affirmatively, and a coupon code for this item will be mailed to you.
Please also reply with your proof of purchase for your product.
**Failure to include the proper paperwork and proof of purchase will delay this process.**
You will then receive an invoice and instructions on how to pay via email. Once payment is received, we will ship your package with a tracking number.
Thank you for your patience and support of DJI.
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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http://healthydrones.com/main?share=wffwDn
2016-4-20
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Bennyboy1983
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So according to that report, the purple indicated that it lost signal.
2016-4-20
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Bennyboy1983
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It should of gone over the building on its own though as obstacle avoid would command it, front and downward sensors etc.  
2016-4-20
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madaerial
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todd_covington Posted at 2016-4-20 11:50
Just got the e-mail from DJI...

Dear Todd Covington

Well, that's something. Honestly, I haven't had the balls to test TapFly.
2016-4-20
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ISA AYDIN
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but where is the front obstacle avoidance system and smart RTH function as advertised?
2016-4-20
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Jkeller84
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Welp I guess that confirms it. Please change the thread title.
2016-4-20
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Jkeller84
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ISA AYDIN Posted at 2016-4-20 16:10
but where is the front obstacle avoidance system and smart RTH function as advertised?

Many building have lots of glass or even mirrored windows on the side. DJI has already said the obstacle avoidance is not expected to be reliable in those situations. Not sure if that's the case here, but a possible explanation. Either way, this wasn't a "flyaway" but another case of incorrect RTH. Accidents happen.
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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Bennyboy1983 Posted at 2016-4-20 12:16
So according to that report, the purple indicated that it lost signal.

Yes, over the water, and I had already cancelled the RTH because I knew it was closer to me and I would be able to command it better because the building was behind me. They still have not  accounted for where it went after it was over the water at least 40-50 m away from the building.
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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Bennyboy1983 Posted at 2016-4-20 12:18
It should of gone over the building on its own though as obstacle avoid would command it, front and  ...

Exactly! But the signal was already lost so who knows what happened. That is the part they have not explained. The new update is why the RTH height was so low... it had been reset.
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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madaerial Posted at 2016-4-20 12:52
Well, that's something. Honestly, I haven't had the balls to test TapFly.

Tap Fly worked really well to be honest. It was the fact that the RC lost control. I had flown over the same area from the same spot with an Inspire 1 and had no problems with interference, the building, etc.
2016-4-20
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labroides
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todd_covington Posted at 2016-4-21 11:10
Exactly! But the signal was already lost so who knows what happened. That is the part they have no ...

It's common for app settings to revert to default  values after firmware updates.
Always check the settings after an update.
2016-4-20
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jstjohnz
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How high will obstacle avoidance go to clear an object in RTH?
I saw a comment in another thread that it would make a lot more sense if upon RC signal loss, the phantom would first return to the point where signal was last available, then start the straight-line RTH.  Doesn't seem like it would be difficult to do and would solve the issue where a structure causes signal loss and blocks the RTH path.
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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jstjohnz Posted at 2016-4-20 18:51
How high will obstacle avoidance go to clear an object in RTH?
I saw a comment in another thread tha ...

Exactly... In hind sight. I'm disappointed because they have no explanation and no notice of me turning off the RTH way before it got towards the building. There was a malfunction and they are trying to get out of being responsible for it.
2016-4-20
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labroides
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todd_covington Posted at 2016-4-21 11:58
Exactly... In hind sight. I'm disappointed because they have no explanation and no notice of me tu ...

HealthyDrones displays very little of the flight record data.
If you want to know what really happened, go to http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/Upload/
Follow the instructions to upload your flight record.

Come back and post a link to the report it provides.
That gives the full data second-by second
2016-4-20
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todd_covington
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http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/MV84IOHQH72UHE1G24P8/
2016-4-20
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madaerial
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todd_covington Posted at 2016-4-21 01:42
http://www.phantomhelp.com/LogViewer/MV84IOHQH72UHE1G24P8/

Well, just based on that..... I would want to know what Flight Mode "Other (27)" is for sure.....
2016-4-21
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labroides
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Your flight record shows you flying out at 118 ft until your Phantom goes behind the Hyatt Regency which appears to be about 16 stories tall at 2:46.  SIgnal reconnects after 8 seconds and your Phantom is shown to be in RTH making a straight line return at 118 ft which will take it directly through the Hyatt Regency.
Signal is lost again at 2:58 for 3 seconds and again for the last time at 3:05.

There is no record of any cancellation of RTH.
If you did try, it may have failed because there was no signal with the Phantom being behind the building.

This shows the critical importance of :
1.  Not flying behind obstacles ... and
2.  Setting RTH to a level that will be higher than any obstacles
RTH crash-1.jpg
2016-4-21
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labroides
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madaerial Posted at 2016-4-21 23:39
Well, just based on that..... I would want to know what Flight Mode "Other (27)" is for sure.....

The OP advised he was using tap n fly
2016-4-21
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todd_covington
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labroides@yahoo Posted at 2016-4-21 21:50
Your flight record shows you flying out at 118 ft until your Phantom goes behind the Hyatt Regency  ...

Yes... At 2:46 it's over the Lagoon, I'm not sure how far it was from the Hyatt, but it was close, and by this time I had paused the return to home to allow it to hover over the Lagoon. I was moving closer to the drone (running) at this point, but as you said the signal was messed up by this point.

Lesson learned... No safety measure is 100%, rely on your skill level and not autonomous flight, and... If you are going to fly more than 500 feet be in a more open and "interference" free area.

I appreciate everyone's help in the matter. I learned a lot about the logs and saw what happened up to the point of lost signal.
2016-4-21
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fans7c8097e7
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Same issue here my height was 183 feet. I was over water in LoS and at a horizontal distance of 693 feet. No obstacles. Dji is sending me some form to day to fill out. From your post, it looks like I am going to get the "run around" ehh?
2017-5-30
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